Ocular Discomfort Upon Tear Drying
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<b>Purpose:</b> Assess the relationship between tear film drying and sensation between blinks. <b>Methods:</b> MATLAB sampled a slitlamp video camera, a potentiometer and a microphone while subjects kept one eye open for as long as possible. 23 subjects rated the intensity of the ocular sensation while video and voice data were collected simultaneously. The tear drying on the cornea was measured. <b>Results:</b> The sensation was triphasic. Two linear functions described the latter 2 parts of the data (r ≥ 0. 95). The correlation between TBUT and the elbow in the time-discomfort function was 0. 72. Extent of tear film drying was linearly correlated to time (median correlation = 0. 88). The correlation between the discomfort elbow and image elbow was 0. 93 with single data pair for each subject. Analysis of sensation characteristics showed significant differences between itching and burning for both intensity and time (p = 0. 03 and p = 0. 02 respectively). <b>Conclusions:</b> Simultaneous recording of ocular surface appearance, discomfort intensity and attributes of sensation provide novel information about the development of discomfort during ocular surface drying. The rapid increase in discomfort proceeding blinking has been quantified and the relationship between the time course of drying and discomfort is elucidated.